Washington Redskins (0-1) at Green Bay Packers (0-1)
I’ve flip-flopped on this one so many times because it’s tough to know what to expect from Robert Griffin. Robert Griffin threw 4 interceptions all last regular season. Now he has 4 interceptions in his last 2 games combined, including the playoff loss to Seattle. It’s worth noting that Tom Brady had one of the worst seasons of his career in the season after returning from his ACL tear and he had 4 months extra to recover and had no prior injury. He also wasn’t nearly as reliant on his legs as Griffin. Griffin wasn’t stepping into throws and took off running just 5 times against Philadelphia. He’ll improve as the season goes on, but it’s very possible we don’t see 2012 RG3 until 2014.
On the other hand, he did look better later in the game as he seemed to grow more comfortable with his legs and in the pocket. It’s understandable he would struggle in his first game back considering he didn’t play at all in the pre-season. Perhaps he can be noticeably better this week. On the other hand, the Packers’ defense is much more talented than the Eagles’ defense, especially if Morgan Burnett returns (he’s listed as questionable and will probably be a game-time decision).
At the same time, the Packers’ defense just does not seem to be able to stop good dual threat quarterbacks. Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers is 63 years old and one of the oldest coaches in the NFL. He just does not seem to be able to adapt to this new offensive fad. After watching Colin Kaepernick beat the Packers’ twice in two different ways, I would not be comfortable taking them to cover a large spread against Robert Griffin. At the same time though, Griffin only took off 5 times last week. He’s not the same runner he was last season. But, at the same time, even if he isn’t, it could still be an asset if the Packers try to play the Redskins like they played the 49ers last week regardless, which would make it much easier for Griffin to complete passes downfield.
At the end of the day, I’m taking the Packers to make a statement bounce back game. I really believe this is just not the Redskins’ year. They have massive holes on defense that were masked up last season by an incredible offense, as a result of Robert Griffin throwing an interception on just 1.0% of his passes, the team recovering about 67% of fumbles that hit the ground, and Griffin being a threat to run, which, in turn, made life much easier for Alfred Morris. Morris rushed for just 45 yards on 12 carries in the opener. The Packers, meanwhile, are 13-4 ATS since 2009 off a loss. They should cover, but I’m not confident.
Green Bay Packers 34 Washington Redskins 24
Pick against spread: Green Bay -7